Mineral Resources share price tumbles amid ongoing lithium price weakness

ASX 200 investors are bidding down the Mineral Resources share price on Wednesday.

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The Mineral Resources Ltd (ASX: MIN) share price is taking a tumble today.

Shares in the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) lithium stock and diversified resources producer closed yesterday trading for $68.54. In morning trade on Wednesday, shares are swapping hands for $67.16 apiece, down 2.0%.

For some context, the ASX 200 is up 0.3% at this same time.

This comes following the release of Mineral Resources' quarterly update for the three months ending 31 March (Q3 FY 2024).

Read on for the highlights.

Mineral Resources share price slides on production dip

The Mineral Resources share price is under selling pressure after the company reported a 4% quarter on quarter reduction in production volumes at its mining services division of 69 million tonnes.

Management noted, however, that for the financial year to date, production volumes of 208 million tonnes are 9% higher than the prior corresponding period.

In the iron ore division, shipments of the steel-making metal fell 6% from the prior quarter to 4.5 million wet metric tonnes. Mineral Resources achieved an average realised price over the quarter of US$98 per dry metric tonne.

The company said its Onslow Iron project remains on target for first ore-on-ship in June. Mining at Onslow was reported to be operating at full capacity, with 9.4 million tonnes of total material moved during the quarter.

On the lithium front, the ASX 200 miner reported that spodumene concentrate pricing improved later in the quarter. Mineral Resources sold a 22,000 dry metric tonne shipment for US$1,3000 per tonne (SC6 equivalent) in March.

The weighted average SC6 equivalent price achieved over the three months across all three of the miner's lithium operations was US$1,030 per dry metric tonne.

The Mineral Resources share price could be catching some headwinds today after management forecasted lithium production at its Wodgina project in FY 2024 will come in at the low end of volume guidance and upper end of cost guidance.

As for the energy segment, the miner said its Lockyer-5 Sidetrack-1 revealed 27 metres of net gas pay with an average porosity of 18%.

According to the release:

Well testing highlighted a maximum flow rate of 106 million standard cubic feet (MMscf) per day and an average flow rate of 104 MMscf per day, the highest stabilised flow rate in the Perth Basin.

Management said the process to introduce a partner to own a 49% interest in its Onslow Iron dedicated haul road is "well progressed and on track to be signed in H2 FY 2024".

The miner intends to adopt a similar approach to fund the proposed development of its gas processing facility in the Perth Basin.

Looking to what could impact the Mineral Resources share price in the months ahead, management maintained its existing FY 2024 volume and cost guidance for all its combined operations.

How has the ASX 200 lithium stock been tracking?

The Mineral Resources share price has been in recovery mode, up 16% over the past six months. Shares remain down 17% since this time last year.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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